Social Economics: Market Behavior in a Social Environment
With Kevin M. Murphy
Harvard University Press, 2001
About the Book
From the Publisher

Gary Becker and Kevin Murphy present a testable, analytic framework for measuring how people make choices by including the social environment along with standard goods and services in their utility functions. These extended utility functions provide a way of analyzing how changes in the social environment affect people's choices and behaviors. More important, they also provide a way of analyzing how the social environment itself is determined by the interactions of individuals.


The Economics of Life: From Baseball to Affermative Action to Immigration, How Real-World Issues Affect Our Everyday Life
With Guity Nashat Becker
McGraw-Hill, 1996 
 
About the Book
From the Publisher

In The Economics of Life, Gary Becker and historian Guity Nashat Becker have collected the best of the economist's popular work from Business Week (where he is a monthly columnist). These thought-provoking essays show us where we have been and where, for better or worse, we are headed. Many of them aroused heated debate upon their original publication, and they will no doubt do so again. Extending well beyond the traditional range of economics, these 138 essays crisply address the changing role of women in modern economies, crime, immigration, drugs, marriage contracts, the effects of the stock market collapse in 1987, whether the Japanese stock market has been rigged, the organization of major league baseball and other sports, communism, competition between religions, the "Swedish way," discrimination against minorities. Supreme Court decisions, government spending, addictions, and many other topics. Although the Beckers emphasize analysis, they do not shy away from advocating controversial changes in public policy and personal behavior. Among their provocative recommendations: legalizing drugs, selling the rights to immigrate, privatizing social security, enforcing marriage contracts more fully, curtailing welfare sharply, limiting the terms of Supreme Court justices and other federal judges, taxing drunk driving and other heavy drinking, and reforming health care to preserve free choice and competition.


Accounting for Tastes
Harvard University Press, 1996
 
About the Book
From the Publisher

Economists generally accept as a given the old adage that there's no accounting for tastes. Gary Becker disagrees, and in this new collection he confronts the problem of preferences and values: how they are formed and how they affect our behavior. He observes, for example, that adjacent restaurants, which have roughly the same quality of food and similar prices, may differ greatly in the number of customers they are able to attract. Why is one invariably full, while the other has seats to spare? And why is it that the profits of tobacco companies may rise when consumption falls? The answers to these and many other questions about people's consumption patterns, Becker argues, have to do with the way preferences and values are shaped. Although these are central topics of social behavior, they have never been addressed in a systematic and analytical way. Becker applies the tools of modern economic analysis to just this topic, one that economists have traditionally left out of their models for rational choice.


The Essence of Becker
Edited By Ramon Febrero and Pedro S. Schwartz
Hoover Institution Press, 1996 
 
About the Book
From the Publisher

Twenty-six essays in this volume showcase the brilliant originality and range of economic thought that earned Hoover Institution senior fellow Gary S. Becker the Nobel Prize in 1992 and corroborate his reputation as the leading figure in unconventional economics. This, the first published collection of Becker's papers, presents an overview of the fundamental theories and unorthodox applications that inspired Milton Friedman to call Becker "one of the most creative economists of our generation." Becker's significant contributions evolve from an economic approach to analyzing social issues that ranges beyond those usually considered by economists. By questioning assumptions taken for granted in most economic modeling, Becker sheds new light on previously unconnected and poorly understood social phenomena. Becker's findings not only shift huge problems that other social scientists once considered immovable but also stand up to empirical challenge. His singular axiom - that all actors in the social game are economic persons who maximize their advantages in different cost situations - allows Becker to study persistent racial and sexual discrimination, investment in human capital, crime and punishment, marriage and divorce, the family, drug addiction, and other apparently noneconomic dimensions of society. The essays presented here capture Becker's innovative analyses of these topics and include the text of his Nobel lecture, a personal assessment of his contributions to the profession. 


The Economic Way of Looking At Behavior: The Nobel Lecture
 
About the Book
From the Foreword by John Raisian

"In the lecture he delivered as part of the 1992 Nobel Prize award ceremony, Gary discussed four topics--discrimination against minorities, crime and punishment, the development and accumulation of human capital, and the structure of families--that are emblematic of his innovative approach to the economic analysis of social issues. We are pleased to reproduce Gary's Nobel lecture as a Classic in the Hoover Essays in Public Policy series."


Human Capital: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis, with Special Reference to Education
The University of Chicago Press, 1993
 
About the Book
From the Publisher

Human Capital is Becker's classic study of the consequences of investing in a person's knowledge and skills. According to his theory, investment in an individual's education and training is similar to business investments in equipment. Becker looks at the economic effects of investment in education on employment and earnings, and shows how his theory measures the incentive for such investment. The human capital approach also allows for determining the costs and returns from college and high school education. Another part of the study explores the relation between on-the-job experience, age, and earnings.


A Treatise on the Family
Harvard University Press, 1991
 
About the Book
From the Publisher

Gary Becker sees the family as a kind of little factory - a multi-person producing unit of meals, health, skills, children, and selfsteem from market goods and the time, skills, and knowledge of its members.
 


The Economic Approach to Human Behavior
The University of Chicago Press, 1976
 
About the Book
From the Publisher

Since his pioneering application of economic analysis to racial discrimination, Gary S. Becker has shown that an economic approach can provide a unified framework for understanding all human behavior. In a highly readable selection of essays Becker applies this approach to various aspects of human activity, including social interactions; crime and punishment; marriage, fertility, and the family; and "irrational" behavior.


The Economics of Discrimination
The University of Chicago Press, 1971
 
About the Book
From the Publisher

Mr. Becker's work confronts the economic effects of discrimination in the market place because of race, religion, sex, color, social class, personality, or other non-pecuniary considerations. He demonstrates that discrimination in the market place by any group reduces their own real incomes as well as those of the minority.
The original edition of The Economics of Discrimination was warmly received by economist, sociologists, and psychologists alike focusing the discerning eye of economic analysis upon a vital social problem.